How is psoriasis treated?

There is no cure for psoriasis, but many treatments work well. Your child’s treatment depends on the type of psoriasis and how bad it is.

Most treatments work to lessen the redness and irritation. Other treatments help stop the itching, scaling or discomfort. We will work with you and your child to find the right treatments:

  • Topical therapies
    Topical therapies include creams or lotions. Some creams and lotions have medicine and some do not. Regular lotions without medicine can also help keep your child’s skin soft and less itchy.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) phototherapy
    UV phototherapy is a special light used to treat psoriasis and can be used when creams or lotions do not work. Your child can have UV phototherapy 3 times a week in the doctor’s office or at home with a special lamp. Even though natural sunlight has UV light, it is too strong and can cause sunburns. The UV light at home or in the doctor’s office can be controlled for your child’s needs.
  • Oral and biologic therapies
    Oral and biologic therapies are medications your child can take by mouth or be injected into the skin. Oral and biologic therapies are used only for very bad cases of psoriasis.

Caring for your child’s feelings

Sometimes, psoriasis can affect your child’s self-esteem and confidence. It can make your child feel sad or nervous. Check in with your child often about their feelings.

At school, it can be helpful to tell friends and teachers about psoriasis. A helpful, guided talk at the beginning of the year works very well for children in the early years of elementary school. Tell your child’s classmates what psoriasis is, and that psoriasis is not contagious. Psoriasis does not hurt your child. But teasing, pointing and staring from others can be hurtful. These are not okay.

Rev. 5/2017. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.